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Calling his wife a cunt under his breath

(177 Posts)
toomanydaisies Fri 16-Nov-12 20:12:07

Please give me advice.

My friend called me in tears just now. She and her husband had had an argument - but she said it was nothing major. He went off into their bedroom and called her a cunt under his breath.

Not the first time he's done this apparently.

She told him she'd heard and he wasn't apologetic - just said he was speaking to himself.

I think this is terrible. Is it emotional abuse? I just don't know what to say to my friend...

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 15:02:28

Glad things are better Beryl , although I'm sorry you had to go through that.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 16:56:13

Well, he spoke it in anger as a parting shot to an argument, within earshot of his wife. It was a misogynistic comment. (Using a part of a woman's anatomy to be offensive is misogynistic). It was an abusive comment. His wife found it offensive (and as she was called it she gets to name it as such). If someone in the street called you a cunt, that would be abusive. If you called your children cunts that would be abusive. Why isn't he being abusive and how much more about his intent do we need to know?

I can totally understand people wanting to reclaim the word cunt as it has only been an offensive term for the last 100 yrs or so. However, you can't reclaim it by accepting it being flung at you, offensively in anger by someone who is who is supposed to love and respect you.

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 17:50:07

Oh so by that 'logic' if a woman called an individual man a 'cock' or a 'prick' in anger it automatically means she has contempt for men as a gender and sees them as inferior to women? Really? hmm

In that scenario she really shouldn't have called him a cock but you can't just assume the rest..

This whole thread just highlights our insecurity/chip on the shoulder as a gender that we add meaning to words like that. The man may be a misogynist or he may not - you really have no conclusive proof from the OP.

It doesn't matter how often we rake this over, I stand by my opinions and everything I've said on this thread as I'm sure your do. So lets agree to disagree.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:41

We (as women) haven't added meaning to the word cunt. Men did that for us.

And no reversing sexes doesn't work because prick and cock aren't hate words and there is no system of oppression against men as a sex. Cunt, bitch, slag slut etc are words that have been used to oppress women. Prick and cock don't oppress men (although they can be offensive).

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 18:53:42

You're adding meaning to it in this context. How on earth can you say that this man definitely meant it in that manner? You can't.

And prick, dick, knob can be words of hate.

So any time a man insults a woman bu calling her a female type insult he's a misogynist, no ifs nor buts? But women can insult men using 'male' words and they're not bring sexist?,

Sorry, your arguments in this context make little sense to me. And frankly, in this context, I find it a bit ludicrous - don't mean to be rude, I just do.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 19:44:57

Well you are being rude.

I'm out. I hadn't really intended to discuss misogyny on a relationship thread. But any man who calls his wife a cunt has zero respect for her. That would be deal breaker for me.

AbigailAdams Sun 18-Nov-12 19:49:43

Sorry, that was meant to say "has no respect and because of the wider connotations of the word, mot much respect for women in general"

HappyGirlNow Sun 18-Nov-12 20:21:28

Not respecting her (if that is the case) is not the same as being a misogynist. As I said, we'll agree to disagree..

Gennz Mon 19-Nov-12 00:52:35

All this thread proves is that every relationship is different, context is everything and some people are more offended by some things than others.

Yes it may very well have been abusive in the context of the fight/their relationship/their background/how offensive the wife found it – and so on. But to extrapolate from that, that “any man who calls his wife a cunt has zero respect for her” or “not much respect for women in general” is totally illogical.

DH and I sling the word around like nobody’s business. People at my work use it. I’m not offended by it. So in my life, this scenario wouldn’t be abusive. My DH is certainly no misogynist (if he was I wouldn’t have married him) – he’s a hard worker, supports me in my career, does his fair share round the house, yada yada and because he uses the word ”cunt” he has no respect for women. Come on.

Moominsarescary Mon 19-Nov-12 01:18:29

Prick and cock arnt hate words? Can't say I've ever told someone they're a prick and meant it in a nice way

LostPuppy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:21:52

The word means far less to men. My friends and I call each other cunts ask the time. It's a standard retort when you feel the other person said or did something stupid.

Screaming it in her face is abusive. This is just casual cunting. Google it.

LostPuppy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:22:55

All the time. Not ask. Stupid autocorrect.

getthefeckouttahere Sun 16-Nov-14 17:55:18

interesting discussion this.

I agree whole heartedly with those who side on the 'its just a word' argument and i believe deep down thats true.

However i would never ever (and never have) used this word in anger in any relationship i have ever been in. I would find it beyond the pale, and i would never forgive myself.

Perhaps its because i grew up in an environment of physical abuse and heard my dad scream this at my mum. It was hate filled, horrible and left a young me absolutely shell shocked.


Joysmum Sun 16-Nov-14 19:54:30

My husband is a wanker, he was one today and I called him on it wink

Are either of us abusive? No! We just have arguments and disagreements.

asdf1 Wed 08-Jul-15 21:44:07

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

oabiti Wed 08-Jul-15 22:03:10

It is an awful word. Forget this 'stop giving the word power' nonsense, don't you understand, the word itself is already powerful, no matter how you downplay it.

oabiti Wed 08-Jul-15 22:07:16

getthef#ck, Sorry if i have misinterpreted, but it seems as if one minute you say you agree with those who say as it is just a word, and in the next breath you're saying you would never use it.

oabiti Wed 08-Jul-15 22:10:26

Didn't realise this was a zombie thread hmm

lilacblossomtime Wed 08-Jul-15 22:13:45

I think in this case it depends how her husband sees the word. Was he intending to insult her in the vilest way he could possibly think of or does he think it is insulting but not truly degrading (as some people see it). Even if she thinks of it that way she should consider how he intended it. Obviously mutter an insult in an audible manner is pretty PA and she is right to be upset.

lilacblossomtime Wed 08-Jul-15 22:16:46

Arghh zombie thread

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Wed 08-Jul-15 22:23:55

wouldnt bother me, Name calling isn't the issue if its around an argument and the relationship isn't 'abusive'

DH and I are just very sweary people, so we don't get offended if we catch each other muttering things after a row when we're still worked up!

What the REAL issue is here, is that she doesn't like it and DOES get offended, if she's told him that and he continues to do it, then he is being very disrespectful!

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Wed 08-Jul-15 22:25:41

oh bloody hell! Fucking Zombies!

MamaMotherMummy Wed 08-Jul-15 23:08:27

What an idiot.

If it was my DH who did that, I'd take it as a signal that things in our relationship need seriously working on, but that wouldn't put me off staying together.

To be honest, when felt pushed into a corner (through a partner's misunderstanding of my emotional needs/struggles) I've said and done a lot worse. People almost universally get awful when pushed to their limits. If it was me in this situation I'd try to work out what corner I'd pushed him into.

When things are calm, I'd try to have a (non defensive truly trying to understand) talk with him to try and understand his experiences.

If I worked on what I could work on, communicated to him that I wouldn't accept him calling me that, and it continued for a long period of time, I'd get out. But only after working very hard on myself and what I bring to the relationship. That's not because I would have been at fault for calling me that, he would, but because I can only control me.

alongcamespiders Wed 08-Jul-15 23:29:52

I'm also with happygirl, n fact I could have written her post word for word.

I have this discussion regularly with friends, mostly all down to earth, pragmatists who become pearl clutching ninnies at the thought of the dreaded C word.
A collection of letters meaning the same thing as twat, really, why is it treated as something with this great sinister power?
I'm sure people have mythologised it through the ages, generations of women repeating the same sentence 'I don't mind swearing but if there's one word I can't bear, it's cunt'. Cue much nodding and shaking of heads.

CatMilkMan Sat 11-Jul-15 14:25:55

I'm so glad I'm not married to someone that would have such a huge issue with 1 bloody word.

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